Football is a fickle game. This time last year we were sitting second in the table, with our longest serving manager for some time guiding a stable group of players that were looking for a play-off finish, ultimately achieved with a five point margin. By contrast, this season we require a very strong second half of the season to give us a chance to secure a promotion play-off spot. As we strengthen the squad for the last 18 league matches, that prospect remains a realistic target.
In football there is only one way to look, and that is forward. The game has a knack of upsetting plans and aspirations, but if you buckle under setbacks on or off the park then you might as well give up. The only reaction that sustains a club is to learn from the setbacks and drive forward, confident that we will succeed.
We have appointed a manager who is a joy to work with; an ambitious and talented young man who has embraced the club and merits success for his efforts. We would all have loved a cracking first half of the season, but a lack of game consistency and some early setbacks are not really a surprise as the learning curve in League Two is painfully steep on a number of fronts. The positive reaction to those setbacks has been to work hard to get the best from existing players and to deal effectively for the January window, which is typically not the most fertile time for squad strengthening. If effort and professionalism are rewarded then the second half of the season ought to be worth watching.
The long and tiring process of finding a new home took a new twist during 2014 as our planned move to East Kilbride saw delays that required the board to look at alternative options. In so doing, the board formally and irrevocably set aside the resolution conferring power to amend the name of the club.
Much has changed since the original location review a few years ago, and that seems to apply to the welcoming attitude of a number of parties this time around. It is probably not a surprise that we are now more welcome, given that last time we reviewed options we were cash starved and in the throws of fairly public disputes with our landlord. A significant number of realistic opportunities, all with compromises of different kinds, have been considered to date and others will be looked at in the New Year. If a custom built stadium in East Kilbride is not to be the home of the club, then every other alternative within the Greater Glasgow area will be more of a journey than a one stop solution, but that journey has good prospects of making considerable progress in 2015.
When we finish the 2014-15 season, we want to look back on success in the play-offs and we want to know that our journey to our new home is tangibly underway.
Football is fickle, so we will deal with any challenges that arise, but we know what we want for our club and we ask that you back the team and support The Bully Wee once again in 2015.
A good New Year to everyone.
– John Alexander